With a track record of eight multi-platinum albums, nine Grammy Awards (plus a staggering 29 nominations) and four American Music Awards, Blige is only getting started. The singer returns just as fierce and compelling on her 10th studio album, the aptly titled “My Life II … The Journey Continues (Act 1).” Released via Blige’s Geffen/Interscope-distributed Matriarch label, the new project doubles as the sequel to Blige’s 1994 classic My Life.
“The original My Life started a movement,” reflects Blige. “And every album since then, from Share My World and No More Drama to The Breakthrough and Stronger With Each Tear, has marked a point of growth and evolution for me and my fans. What’s consistent is the fact that we all remain challenged in life to get to that next level. That’s one of the reasons for this sequel. And given the climate right now—the recession, war and other issues—I remembered there was so much healing with the first My Life. So that was another perspective behind my recording the album
Although she grew up in Pentecostal churches and got her singing start there, she says, “I wasn’t a Christian when I was a child, I just went to church. I understood from childhood that there was something really big watching over me and it was God. And I was afraid to steal and lie. I was afraid to do anything that was wrong. I always got this feeling like, ‘Uh oh.’ But I understand better now who God is now that I’ve become a woman and a Christian.”
She goes on to say,
“It was later [in life], when I gave my life to Jesus Christ, that I found out who I am. I’m a child of God. God is my mommy, my daddy. That’s the only thing that’ll keep my head up. If I don’t remember who I am in him, I’m done….When I became a Christian, it was something I had to do because my whole life as a young adult was so bad. Things were just so bad that when I decided to make a change in my life, I went to God about my life. And he led me to other Christians, like my husband, like my pastor. And I started studying the Word. Now I get it. I understand it more, through the Word. That’s why I know God is love.
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As she continues her multi-faceted journey, however, one constant remains for Blige: her fans. “Being connected with their lives is what keeps me going,” she says. “They’re the reason why I am where I am: confident in knowing who I am and what I can do. With each album, it’s just me continuing to grow. And that’s the takeaway I want for my fans with My Life II … to please look at what we’ve survived and how strong we are now.”